Vent hoods, also known as range hoods or exhaust hoods, are essential components of many outdoor kitchens. If your outdoor BBQ area is positioned near a wall, in the corner, has a solid ceiling, or is inside a screened-in porch, you absolutely need to mount a vent hood above the grill.
Vent hoods in designated outdoor grill areas - help remove smoke, grease, and odors from the cooking area. Just like an indoor vent hood, the outdoor one works like a canopy or a hood that is installed above your grill and burners.
The hood is connected to a ventilation system with several motors that suck in the air above the grill and direct it away through ducting.
Outdoor Kitchen Vent Hood Benefits
Even though the kitchen is outdoors, a vent hood is often necessary for the following reasons:
It helps removes smoke and odors away from the grill. If you are having an outdoor party grilling with your friends and family, you want people to be able to hang out at the grill. Especially if you have invested in a high-end grill that is a pleasure to cook on. Smoke, in particular, does not quickly disperse if there is a ceiling above of any sort.
Outdoor vent hoods for grills prevent grease particles from flying around - which makes clean-ups easier. You don’t want your BBQ kitchen to be covered in grease, and a special vent hood system over your grill takes care of it.
Grease buildup on your outdoor kitchen surfaces is not just gross, it poses a fire risk. A vent hood makes your outdoor kitchen safer. Gas grills also need sufficient venting - see our earlier post on BBQ island venting structures.
Texas (and 90% of the US) summers are hot enough - a powerful vent will help direct the grill heat away from anyone cooking or prepping.
Less smoke, less fumes and products of burners, less pollutants - your outdoor kitchen is a cleaner, more comfortable place to be in with your whole family.
Where Does the Ducting Go?
In outdoor vent hoods, the ducting typically leads to the outside of the kitchen area. The ducting is usually installed through the wall or the roof, depending on the layout and design of the outdoor kitchen.
When placing your vent ducting outlet you need to consider several factors:
- Local building codes and regulations;
- Safety of the fumes dispersion, so away from windows, doors, or any other pathways to where the people are;
- Proper airflow and ventilation;
- Aesthetics and style - the ducting should not be breaking the design of your outdoor kitchen.
We’ve consulted on and sold thousands of outdoor kitchens in Austin & San Antonio, and most times when a vent hood is part of the plans there is a unique and elegant solution for the vent hood ducting.
Get in touch with us and we can help you figure out the best way to plan for it.
Outdoor BBQ Vent Hood Parts & Selection
To cover the entire cooking surface, your vent hood should be wider than the grill. A common rule of thumb is that the vent hood should extend at least six inches beyond each side of your grill.
For instance, this Twin Eagles 60-inch vent hood is available in several sizes - 36”, 48", and 60” sizes that can fit over most outdoor kitchen grills. Furthermore, most brands provide multiple size options to ensure your grill is sufficiently covered.
Motor & Blowers
The power of the motors is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The higher the number the better it disposes of the heat.
For instance, a Blaze vent hood will have two 1000 CFM blowers which is enough to clear the air over most grills.
Baffles are bars inside of the vent hood that serve as grease accumulators. All the grease particles caught in the air are filtered through the baffles so they settle there without building up in the ducting.
Every once in a while you will need to take the baffles out and degrease them - but that is a lot easier than degreasing the whole kitchen and cleaning the ducting.
This 42" Blaze Outdoor Vent Hood has commercial-style layered baffles that help prevent grease from entering duct work.
A vent hood should match the overall design of your outdoor kitchen. Your outdoor kitchen vent hood is exposed to the elements year-round so durability is #1 requirement. Most of the vent hoods we sell and install are made of stainless steel and last for generations.
Remember, the right vent hood is going to make your outdoor kitchen more functional and enjoyable.
We can help you figure out the right vent hood size, design, and solve all installation challenges. Give us a call or visit one of our physical locations:
6715 Ranch Rd 620 N
Austin, TX 78732
4519 North Loop 1604 West
San Antonio, TX 78249
Happy grilling and we'll be looking forward to your call or visit!